Bridge partially collapses near Phoenix in wake of massive fire and train derailment

View article in its entirety at NBC News.

— By: David K. Li and Liza Torres

Tempe firefighters, paramedics and police rushed to a rail bridge over Tempe Town Lake, following the 6:15 a.m. MT derailment which sent smoke plumes visible for miles.

The bridge were the accident happened had recently been inspected, on July 9, according to Union Pacific.

“The south side of the bridge collapsed and rail cars fell into an empty park below,” Union Pacific said in a statement. “Three tank cars were on the ground under the bridge. Two contained cyclohexanone; one contained a rubber material. None are reported leaking, and no tank cars were involved in the fire.”

“No injuries known at this time but the scene is very dangerous,” Moir tweeted.

Lumber being carried on the Union Pacific line was ablaze Wednesday, and hazardous materials crews were dispatched to the scene, officials said.

“Being over the water definitely adds some … challenge for us,” Tempe Assistant Fire Chief Andrea Glass told NBC affiliate KPNX. “Unfortunately there are some cars that will be lost because we just can’t get to them, they will burn.”



Folks mostly don’t appreciate how much devastation is possible even without volatile oil.

One thing that is abundantly clear…is that the current state of the rails, with overworked crews, reduced equipment and rail maintenance/inspection, and greatly increased length and weight, is more risky than before.

Simply the unprecedented length and weight, regardless of cargo, represent unstudied new risk factors.  We discover them at our peril.

Karl “Fritz” Edler
  Chair, Harding-Labrie Defense Committee

Rail Safety Begins With Safe Sustainable Work Schedules

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